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“Round up the BKK soi dogs and send them up-country” – Soi Dog Foundation responds

The Thaiger

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“Round up the BKK soi dogs and send them up-country” – Soi Dog Foundation responds | The Thaiger

The scheme to control stray dogs recently announced in Bangkok is inappropriate and unlikely to be effective, according to Soi Dog Foundation (SDF).

The Thapthan shelter in Uthai Thani, where it is proposed that captured dogs will be impounded, is one of the best shelters in the country, but it is already at or near capacity.

The former Bangkok Governor and dog lover, Major General Chamlong Srimuang, built his own private shelter in Kanchanaburi province several years ago to house Bangkok strays. However, he is now looking to close it due to insufficient support. He recently visited the Thapthan shelter but was told they cannot take his dogs as the shelter is full.

In any case, even if the Thapthan shelter were empty it could house only a fraction of the capital’s street dogs. SDF has already carried out surveys of the 50 districts within the Bangkok Metropolitan area (BMA), and three years ago carried out a census in the whole Greater Bangkok area, which revealed approximately 640,000 free roaming dogs in Greater Bangkok.

The foundation agrees that aggressive dogs that bite people should be removed. But the majority of strays tend to steer clear of people, which is why people have to be trained in the skills of catching them.

With the support of Dogs Trust Worldwide, Soi Dog began sterilising and vaccinating the dogs living in the BMA area two years ago, as well as supporting other private initiatives in Greater Bangkok and other parts of the country. We currently have four full-time mobile teams operating in the capital and hope to increase that to six teams next year.

We are now close to sterilising 100,000 animals per year. This costs 50 million baht a year, with no support from the city. If sterilised and vaccinated dogs are going to be removed from their territories, then SDF will have to consider whether there is any point in continuing with such a programme.

The World Health Organisation, The Food and Agriculture division of the United Nations, The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, all agree that the most effective way to eliminate rabies is to vaccinate dogs, and if a minimum of 70 per cent of dogs are vaccinated in a city or country, then you will eliminate rabies, providing you control any new dogs coming in.

The reason for this is that mass vaccination establishes herd immunity. But remove those vaccinated dogs, and other dogs that are not vaccinated will rapidly reproduce to take their place, and rabies will once again raise its ugly head.

The same applies to population control. Sterilise 80 per cent of the female dogs and you will start to see numbers fall. Dogs are territorial and will keep other dogs out.

A maintenance programme will be required but, as has been shown in countries around the world, once sterilisation is introduced, as well as people exercising proper control of their dogs, then the situation will be under control.

You can see this happening in Phuket where SDF has been vaccinating and sterilising dogs for 15 years. Despite hundreds of unvaccinated puppies being allowed into the province for sale each year, and despite vaccinated and sterilised dogs being removed to the provincial pound from time to time (making the maintenance operation far harder) the number of stray dogs in Phuket has fallen drastically.

In addition, the government has declared the province rabies-free – the only province in Thailand to have received this accolade.

Bangkok has always had a big stray dog problem. Over the years, many measures have been tried and failed, including poisoning and shooting (stopped by the late King Bhumibol), and removing dogs to Pravet and Uthai Thani.

SDF believes that the latest measure announced will also fail.

Dogs, cats and rats, like people, need food to survive. Until the authorities can control the garbage and waste problem in Thailand, as they have now in many countries, then something is going to feed on that waste.

At present, dogs are top of the pecking order. Remove the dogs and the cat population will explode, as it has in Phuket. Remove the cats and the city will have a plague of rats and mice.

That is nature. Provide a food source and something will feed on it. It will take investment and education, but unless you solve the underlying issue – unsterilised animals and a ready source of food – you will never solve the problem.

You will need 100 shelters like Uthai Thani, or more, to take all of the dogs in the Greater Bangkok area. The cost of building them and then feeding and caring for the dogs, would be astronomical – certainly far more than employing a large number of people to catch the dogs, then sterilise and vaccinate them.

Even if it were possible to remove all the current free-roaming dogs in Bangkok, whether owned or stray, they would be replaced in no time at all by dogs from areas around the city, by unwanted pups discarded by puppy factories, and the offspring of unsterilised pets, the origin of all the current strays.

Educating people on responsible pet ownership, and that it is not wrong or against Buddhist principles to sterilise dogs and cats, is also essential.

Controlling the growing number of puppy farms is also badly needed.

Finally, it is worth noting that in September senior officials from the Singapore Veterinary Department, who have responsibility for controlling the stray dogs in that country, visited Soi Dog in Bangkok for three days to study our methods.

They have found that years of a capture-and-euthanise policy had no impact. They are now switching to a Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release policy in close cooperation with local animal welfare groups.

Singapore has an estimated 10,000 strays only, but the principle is the same whether it be 10,000 or 10 million – which is the likely minimum figure in Thailand.

Lessons continue not to be learned in relation to controlling the number of stray dogs in Bangkok and, indeed, the rest of Thailand.

Once again, the Soi Dog Foundation urges authorities in the capital and elsewhere in Thailand to heed the lessons of the past and to commit to a concerted long-term campaign to catch, neuter, sterilise and release street dogs, and to make bringing garbage under control a priority.

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Bangkok

Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12

The Thaiger

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Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12 | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: AFP

His Majesty the King has ordered the Royal Barge Procession to be postponed to December 12, originally scheduled for October 24, as recommended by the organising committee chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngarm told Parliament yesterday about the official postponement.

After ten rehearsals and one dress rehearsal, he said the organising committee agreed that, if the procession were to proceed on October 24, the water conditions in the Chao Phraya River, currents and weather conditions would not be optimal. The committee then reported its concerns to HM the King, who subsequently agreed that the event be postponed until December 12, the beginning of the winter in Bangkok and the most settled weather of the year, according to Thai PBS World.

The committee will meet again on October 21 and a formal announcement will be made about the new schedule, said Wissanu, adding that December would be perfect timing for the event as there will be little chance of rain.

The Royal Barge Procession is the official finale of the King’s Coronation ceremony held in May this year. Their Majesties the King and Queen will ride on one of the 52 barges in the procession.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Here’s an example of what it will look like…

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Bangkok

BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok

May Taylor

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BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Tourist police in Bangkok have arrested a thief accused of pick-pocketing tourists on the city’s BTS Skytrain, along with an Indonesian couple charged with credit card fraud and card skimming.

Kasem Masan Jantaro, a 44 year old food vendor in the Huay Kwang market, says he started pick-pocketing when business became too slow for him to adequately support his family. The Skytrain security team alerted the police after several reports of tourists being pick-pocketed on the trains. Victims described the thief as middle-aged, with pale skin.

Kasem was arrested while trying to flee the scene at the Asok BTS station on Wednesday and was found to have 4,600 baht in cash and four stolen credit cards in his possession. Thai Residents reports that Kasem was previously prosecuted for drugs offences in 2015 and for robbery in 2016.

In a separate arrest, Bangkok police detained 32 year old Alexander Eddilias and 33 year old Estie Rusdiana, an Indonesian couple charged with being in possession of fake credit cards, stolen credit cards, and skimming devices used to steal credit card information.

The arrest comes after several banks notified police of transactions made using fake cards and the couple were tracked to a room in the Pratunam area of Bangkok. Officers also seized a computer, a skimming device, twenty two fake credit cards, two stolen credit cards, and twenty four credit card receipts.

The suspects say they bought the information on the Dark Web. The information was then recorded in the magnetic strip of the fake cards, which were used to make purchases worth approximately 2 million baht.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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ASEAN

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit

May Taylor

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Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | The Thaiger

November 4 and 5 have been approved as official holidays for Bangkok and Nonthaburi as a result of the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits being held at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul confirmed yesterday that the measure was being taken in an effort to alleviate traffic problems in both areas during the summit, adding that other state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand could implement the holidays for their subsidiaries at their own discretion and on a case-by-case basis.

“Government agencies in Bangkok and Nonthaburi will stop working on these dates. Meanwhile, state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand will consider announcing November 4 and 5 as holidays for their subsidiaries on case-by-case basis.”

“However, government agencies which have a necessity to provide urgent or previously scheduled services to their clients that cannot be postponed may stay open on November 4 and 5, depending on the decision by the heads of these departments.”

Some other public or regional holidays coming up…

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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